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Dutch museum to hand out Nazi barbed-wire souvenirs

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THE HAGUE (JTA) — A Dutch Holocaust museum will hand out pieces of barbed wire from a Nazi concentration camp to visitors to be kept as souvenirs.

The management of the Camp Amersfoort National Monument decided to give away the wire after being criticized for selling the wire in its gift shop earlier this month, according to a report by RTV Utrecht, a local television channel.

“Our archaeologist proposed we throw away all the wire that we found around the museum,” said Harry Ruijs, the museum’s director, in an interview with RTV Utrecht. “We said we would find a way to use it.”

The museum intended to use revenue from sales to fund a new exhibition of archaeological findings from Amersfoort Camp.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a watchdog on anti-Semitism, had asked the museum to stop selling the wire. CIDI deputy director Esther Voet said some descendants of Resistance fighters found the sale inappropriate and that the pieces of wire could reach collectors of Nazi memorabilia.

The management of the museum, situated on what used to be a Nazi concentration camp in the heart of the Netherlands, placed 50 pieces of wire in the museum’s gift shop and charged $12 for each piece.

The wire once surrounded the camp when the Nazis placed Dutch Resistance fighters there. Also detained at the camp was a Jewish contingent of forced labor prisoners. Most of them did not survive the Holocaust.

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